J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 56:878-884 doi:10.1136/jnnp.56.8.878
  • Research Article

Neuropsychological abnormalities in AIDS and asymptomatic HIV seropositive patients.

  1. G Villa,
  2. D Monteleone,
  3. C Marra,
  4. A Bartoli,
  5. A Antinori,
  6. F Pallavicini,
  7. E Tamburrini,
  8. I Izzi
  1. Servizio di Neuropsicologia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome, Italy.


      Neuropsychological and immunological parameters were studied in 36 AIDS patients with early disease and without clinical, laboratory, and neuroradiological signs of CNS impairment, and also in 33 asymptomatic HIV seropositive subjects. Many AIDS patients performed abnormally on timed psychomotor tasks, tasks involving sequencing and "set-shifting", and memory tasks stressing attention, learning, active retrieval, and monitoring of information. Asymptomatic HIV seropositive subjects as a group did not perform significantly worse than controls. However, on the basis of a cut off number of pathological performances on neuropsychological tasks, 52.8% of AIDS and 30.3% of asymptomatic HIV seropositive subjects had cognitive impairment, compared with 3.9% of HIV seronegative controls. Low values of CD4+ cells and of CD4+/CD8+ ratio and high titres of P-24 antigen in the blood prevailed among subjects with cognitive impairment, especially in the asymptomatic HIV seropositive group.